2 Chronicles 17:6 Devoted Heart

Cross heart on bible

His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah. 2 Chronicles 17:6 

Being devoted to something or someone is being committed to whatever is being devoted to no matter what happens. It is being sold out in mind, body and soul.

People find some things that they get devoted to for a time. When younger, people often devote themselves to following some person. This can be an actor, actress, singer, band, sports person, musician or someone else. It is common to see people devote themselves as boyfriend/girlfriend with a friend while in school or college.

The majority of these devotions are short termed. They only last for a few years, at best, then the devotion changes to someone else. The world sees their devotion as good until something comes along that is better. Along with the short-term devotion, these things are all temporary.

Jehoshaphat had become king of Judah and was devoted to God. His heart was devoted to the ways of God and doing what was right in God’s eyes, removing idols from the land. He led the people back to God, to love, serve and worship God, alone.

Since the time of Jehoshaphat, nothing has changed. There is only one that remains permanent for all eternity–God. Jesus made it possible for people to have a relationship with God, through His death upon the cross.

Jesus was devoted to the Father and to each person to bring salvation. Every believer should have his first devotion focused upon God. God gave life and made the relationship possible, so He, alone, deserves all the devotion of one’s heart and life. Believers need to focus everything that they say and do upon God and His ways, not the ways of this world.

You have a choice to make also. Who or what will you be devoted to? You cannot be devoted to more than one thing. Either you are devoted and serving God or you are serving self and this world.

Take a moment and find out where your heart is at. What makes your heart beat? What gives you life?

The things of this world will only give an illusion of life and in the end will bring death.

God gave and will continue to bring life for eternity. Set your whole heart to be fully devoted to God and His kingdom. That relationship will last forever.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that your heart will be devoted to God; that you will live your life in service to God and His kingdom; and that God will do great things in and through you.

1 Samuel 15:22 Obedience And Sacrifice

Obedience

But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 

Obedience is something that most people find difficult to do. Wanting to do their own thing, the majority of people choose not to be obedient. They want to twist or bend the rules to their own favor. People want to do their own thing, their own way, in their own time. It is about self, not about God or others.

Saul had been told to completely destroy all of the people and animals of the Amalekites as he and his army went to battle against them. Instead of destroying everyone and everything, the men kept some of the animals for a sacrifice. Saul thought it would be good to keep those animals to be able to offer a great sacrifice to God. However, that was not what God had commanded him to do.

Although most people do not like to sacrifice anything, they will quickly sacrifice something rather than obey. In churches there are people who will donate a lot of money to the church or organizations or they will offer help in some ministry on a regular basis. Yet, at home or work, they do not live for God or obey His commands on purpose. They feel that their large offerings cover up their sins and puts them in right standing with God.

God does not want sacrifice if there is no obedience. In this case, sacrifice is trying to earn one’s way into heaven, rather than trusting Jesus for salvation. Believers are to obey everything God says and trust what He says first. Once the obedience occurs, then sacrifices can be done to worship and honor God.

Take a look at your own life and see how well you are doing at obeying what God has told you to do. God is interested in you obeying His every word, His word in little things as well as in the great things.

If there is no obedience, there is no love. Jesus said that if you love Him, you would obey Him. Love is greater than any sacrifice.

Once you love and obey God, then you may do the sacrifices as God leads you. Not the other way around.

Are you obeying God today?

I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will obey what God tells you to do; that you will trust everything God tells you; and that your heart and life will obey God first before any sacrifice. 

1 John 5:3 Love For God

 

Autumn river

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 1 John 5:3

Following various organizations can be a challenge for some people. The organization will have a lot of rules and regulations that a person must follow. Some of these commands may be how a person dresses, where he can go, what he can do, how he must speak, how much it may cost, and many other rules. The number of rules can become a challenge and a heavy burden for many people. They may even keep some people from joining.

Many people in the world see following God in this same way. They see what they think are many rules and commands that they must follow. This is often seen because people in the church lay out a long list of commands a person must follow in order to believe in Jesus or be a member of the church. In order to love God a person must do all of those commands. Some of these may be: how a person dresses, which bible translation he reads, where he goes to church, how much he must give to the church, and many other commands.

John states that to love God is to keep His commands, and that His commands are not a heavy burden. All of God’s commands are summed up in loving God and loving other people. This is not a lot of commands. They are simple. Do what is best for God and for others.

When a person gets wrapped up in lots of commands, he loses the sight of love for God. He sees God as a harsh dictator and not a loving Father. Then it becomes hard to love God or others.

In loving God one will turn from sin and be His witness to the world. He will want to tell everyone about Jesus first and foremost. It will be his focus in life.

Focus your life on loving God and loving others. As you do that you will fulfill His commands, to love God and others.

As you love God and others, God will give you the strength to turn away from sin and to be His witness in this world. Turning from sin and obeying God will no longer be a burden, but a great joy.

How are you at loving God today?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will love God; that you will find joy and strength in loving God; that you will love others as God loves them; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to the world. 

1 John 2:4 Do Your Really Know God?

 

Sunset on ocean

Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 1 John 2:4

Claiming to know a person is easy to say. It is common to hear about someone who has met someone else one time and they claim to know that person. Or they have read a lot about that person and they claim to know that person. While they may know a little about that person, they really don’t know that person, unless a lot of time is spent with that person in person.

Claims are easy to make, because they are just words. It takes more than just words to know a person.

All over the world there are people who claim to know God. Many will even go to church on a regular basis, carry a bible and be able to quote the bible. As they claim to know God and will talk about Him, they will also live their lives in willful sin and refuse to do what He is asking them to do. Others will claim to know him, will flee sin, yet, will not do what He asks them to do.

John says that if a person does not do what God asks of him, he really does not know God.

God’s love, mercy and goodness is so great that if a person really knows God, he will know His love, mercy and goodness. Knowing those things will cause a person to want to serve Him and obey Him.

Very few people want to hurt someone who really loves them. They want to do good to that person who loves them. God’s love is greater than any love a person can give. Jesus gave His life for each person.

If you, as a believer, claim to know God and really know His love for you, then you will want to obey Him in every area of your life, with every thing He says.

Do not be the one who claims to know God, yet, will not do what He says to do. Be the one who will do whatever God tells you to do. Show God the love for Him that He shows for you by your obedience.

Ask yourself how well you really know God today. Do you know His great, infinite love for you?

Are you showing you really know God by your obedience and love to Him?

I pray today that you will know God’s love to you; that you will know God’s commands to you; that you will do what God commands; and that you will love God as He loves you.