Devotional for April 1, 2020

Greetings in Christ,

  How well do we remember all the good things God has done for us?  Is it hard to recount all the things God has done in our lives?  Some of us may journal those good times and memories on paper, and have them stored in a box somewhere.  How often are those journals revisited?  When was the last time we went down memory lane and thought about all the things God has done for us in our lives?  We have a tendency to focus on the present, remember only the recent past, and once in a great while reflect on the past good things in our lives which have transpired.  We have many memories some good and some bad, and if we are like most humans we tend to lean towards the negative side in our recollection of memories.  The selected scriptures look at the history of those who failed to remember the good things God had done for them.

  Joshua records the words of Joshua as he has called all the people of Israel to gather together for one last bit of instructions before they take possession of the Promised Land.  Joshua spoke of the goodness of God as he goes into the history of how God had worked in Abraham’s life telling him he would be the father of many nations, the birth of Isaac, Jacob, and Esau.  Joshua spoke of the Israelite’s deliverance from Egypt, the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea, and their living in the wilderness for forty years.  Joshua spoke of the Israelites how they overcame the people who were occupying the Promise Land and how God drove out the Amorites, Perizzite, Canaanite, Hittite, Girgashite, Hivite, and the Jebusite.  In all the accounts of God working in their lives for their behalf, they still hung onto idols and worshiped them.  They chose to ignore the goodness of God, and they focused on the things which could only produce negative results for their lives.  They took their focus off God and focused on what they thought was more important.

  Paul writes to Timothy calling for him and others to act as Christians.  Paul is concerned the people are falling back into their old practices and traditions.  They had been treating each other rudely and ignoring the widows and orphans.  Paul called for them to remember what Jesus had done for them by remembering His death on the cross and the promise of the Holy Spirit.  They were not to return to their old negative practices and to listen to every word spoken by those who claimed to be speaking the truth and to live according to the faith given to them and let the Holy Spirit be their guide.  They were to realize God had created all things to be good and nothing in their lives was to be rejected if it was received with gratitude.  They had to change their focus from negative to positive as they lived a Christian life. 

  Matthew records the parables of the wheat and tares, the mustard seed, and the leaven.  The wheat and tares parable correlates with our lives here on earth.  We want to fill our lives with good things, but bad things creep in and seem to take over.  Instead of focusing on the bad things reflect on the good things.  The good things have value, and will bring hope for the future.  The mustard seed correlates to our faith which seems so small at times, but can develop into something which is great and mighty.  The leaven correlates with life.  If we fill up our lives with the good things, the good things will overtake the bad things. 

  While the scriptures give us a glimpse of what others have done in the past, we have the tendency to do the same things today.  We hold onto the wrong things and do not embrace the right things.  We focus on our troubles and how they impact us, but forget to remember how God has worked in our lives in the past.  We do not take the time to fill our lives up with the good things so the bad things will fade away. 

  Take some time and remember what God has done in your life.  Spend time in the word and in prayer.  Take the focus off yourself and focus on God.  It will not take long for the good things make the bad things fade away resulting in hope.  It is in hope faith will take hold and the future will look bright. 

  “I Will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear it and rejoice.  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”  Psalms 34:1-3

  “The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.  Thy throne is established from of old; Thou art from everlasting.’  Psalms 93:1-2

  “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.  Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.  For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.  Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.”  Psalms 96:1-6

  Lord may we focus on the things You have done for us.  May we remember Your faithfulness to us and all You do.  Amen


  Mark Johnson                   

  Psalm 34,93,96; Joshua 24:1-28; 1 Timothy 3:14-4:5; Matthew 13:24-34a

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