Today is a special day in my life. 48 years ago, I married Sue! We have been blessed with a wonderful (and growing) family…good health and abilities…faith in Jesus. Life is good!
Just over a year ago I started writing daily devotions (Monday thru Friday) …and then they became weekly Wednesday devotions. I hope and pray that they have helped you find Love, Joy, Peace, Hope, and God’s will for your life. You notice that I put LOVE first on that list. GOD IS LOVE!!! And then He tells us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER!
I looked back at the devotion that I wrote one year ago today. It was pretty good…and the Bible verses are powerful….so here it is:
If I were to ask you to fill in the blanks:
I LOVE __________, ______________, and ___________
What would you say? I may say God, family, church?
The question is important to me today as I think about my wife. I love her! It’s our anniversary today! She has put up with my corny jokes for 48 years now!
I would encourage you to think about how you would fill in the blanks above…and if you put people in those blanks, take time to tell them you love them. If you put God in one of the blanks, take time to tell Him and to thank Him for loving you unconditionally.
In a past devotion, I discussed house (physical dwelling), household (yourself and perhaps those that share that space with you), home (that place where you feel cozy, safe, surrounded by things that are special and meaningful). We can focus on Joshua (and hopefully you) saying “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” In what way would God have you serve Him in this ever-changing and a bit confusing world? What would He have you do…Who would He want you to reach out to in His Name?
I understand that our homes and households have looked different over the last 12 months. They are now our workplace, school, church, and isolation chamber….and yet they still are expected to be places to serve the Lord. I read once that “a house is not a home without God in it”. We have a plaque in our family room that says, “In Our Home” and then lists 10 verses that God would include in our homes. It is just a wall decoration, but it reminds us of God’s Love, as well as how God would have us act within our homes (and in all our thoughts, words, and actions in life). I thought I would share those verses with you today.
- Put God First Matthew 6:33… But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
- Always Be Honest Proverbs 12:22… The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
- Forgive and Forget Micah 7:18… Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
- Be Kindhearted Ephesians 4:32… Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
- Keep Your Promises Romans 4:21… being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised.
- Work Hard Colossians 3:23… Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
- Be Thankful 1 Thessalonians 5:18… give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
- Never Give Up Philippians 4:13… I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
- Comfort One Another 1 Thessalonians 4:18… Therefore encourage one another with these words.
- But Most of All Love One Another 1 Peter 1:22… Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
Now I understand that this is just a man-made plaque…a wall decoration, but it includes God’s Word. I am aware that applying these verses looks different based on your home/household situation. But what areas do you need to work on?
I would suggest that you print out these verses and memorize one per day…assess how you are doing in that area of your life…making any adjustments that need to be made. Thanking God for His faithfulness and blessings.
Lord…may we love you with all our being, may we put you as number one on our list of those we love. Thank you for loving us unconditionally in spite of our sinfulness. Lord, you have plans for each of us, plans that will accomplish your will. Lord bring healing to each of us, our nation, this world. Physical healing from the coronavirus. May we have spiritual healing from our sinful words and actions and our self-centeredness. Lord nudge us to reach out and help others that may be lonely or in need. Please watch over and bless those out working on the front lines. Watch over nurses, doctors, pharmacists, police, firemen, postal workers, truckers, store and restaurant workers, and many more. Amen.
Interesting to me that that original devotion (with a couple of updates) works as well today as it did a year ago…and I assume it will in the years to come. It’s really simple: LOVE GOD…LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR!!!
HUMOR FOR THE DAY: (an oldie but goodie!)
- A robber breaks into a house while the residents are away one dark night. Eager to see what he can loot, he quickly starts searching through cupboards and dressers, grabbing valuables with a trained eye. Suddenly, he hears a voice come out of nowhere. “Jesus is watching you.”
- The criminal jumps scared, thinking the residents are back, and freezes. After a few minutes of silence, however, he assumes it was his imagination and goes back to robbing. A couple of minutes pass, before once again, the voice returns. “Jesus is watching you.” Quite confused, the thief searches the house and checks the front door, but nothing pops out as unusual.
- He finally decides to go to the next room, and finds a parrot, but ignores it. Before he can begin to do anything, someone speaks again, “Jesus is watching you.” The robber realized it was the parrot talking!
- Going to the parrot, he asks, “Are you the one who’s been talking to me?” The parrot responds, “Yes.” The thief couldn’t believe it.
- So, he asks another question. “What is your name?” “Ismael.” the parrot replies. The man scoffed. “What type of idiot names a parrot Ismael?” The parrot speaks yet again, “The same type of idiot that names a Rottweiler Jesus.”