Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Calling it like it is

My friend Ann forwards me devotionals that she receives. I really appreciate the straight forward approach the author of these devotionals writes in; in fact I enjoyed it so much in a recent devotional that I'd like to share a part of it with you. The following excerpt is taken from the Dene Ward's June 1 devotional titled, "Stuck in a rut."

It seems to me that when someone complains that his religion no longer has meaning for him because he is “stuck in a rut,” it says more about him than it does about the religion he practices. While babes in Christ may need special care, mature Christians should be past the need for coddling. It is my responsibility to keep my heart and my attitude right in my service to God and to keep myself out of the rut of rote ritual, even if God tells me to do exactly the same thing in exactly the same way for ten thousand years. Exactly who is it that is being worshipped anyway? It certainly isn’t me and my likes and dislikes—at least it shouldn’t be.

If we need to change the things we can change, by all means, let’s change them. But when the reason becomes “how I feel” instead of what is best for the body of Christ and the mission God gave us, we need to stop and take a better look at ourselves.

These comments were based on a reflection that too often we make the excuse that we are stuck in a rut, especially in regard to the manner in which we worship. That excuse is our justification for changing something about the way we worship simply because it suits us better, not necessarily because it is what God has commanded.

Too often I find myself making changes in my own life simply because "I feel" that it is best. I don't mean to degrade my own or your decision making process but I know that I could exercise more self control and diligence in keeping aligned with God's word for living and practicing my faith. Our culture has become one that encourages self-service and self-promotion when making decisions. Living for God though demands that we set aside our own justification for decisions and seek God's will.

"And now Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you but to fear the Lord your God and to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you this day for your good."
Deut 10:12,13.

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